Gingerbread Man Experiment

We are enjoying our third week of the Gingerbread Man Unit. The students have listened to more than half a dozen versions of this classic tale. Today we tried to answer the question, “Why didn’t the Gingerbread Man just swim across the river?” with a fun experiment. First, we discussed our hypothesis in response to this question. Students guessed that the Gingerbread Man would have sunk or melted had he attempted to cross the river on his own. Some hypothesized that the cookies would break or squish. They then recorded their answers in their Gingerbread Notebook.
gingerbread
Next, students placed their gingerbread cookies into a cup of water.
gingerbread 1 We set the timer and waited twenty minutes to see what happened. One could feel the excitement in the room! After just five minutes, several students’ cookies had broken in two! After twenty minutes, the cookies were soggy and had broken into several pieces.
gingerbread 2After twenty minutes…

 The students recorded their observations, and we reset the timer for an additional twenty minutes. When the bell rang, the cookies had broken apart into more pieces!
gingerbread3After forty minutes…

Students again recorded their observations.

gingerbread5Finally, students concluded that the Gingerbread Man would have gotten soggy and broken had he swam across the river. Success!

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